Viewers may find it difficult to wait another four years until the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but it’s not hard to agree with The National when it says that given all the hurdles between us and our needed workouts, it’s only a matter of time before “gym commuting” becomes an Olympic event.
Although studies show that college freshmen actually gain an average of three or four pounds instead of 15, freshmen still gain weight — the main contributing factors being unhealthy food choices and decreased physical activity.
But who could blame them? Incoming freshmen typically don’t cook their own meals and late-night studying doesn’t help, either. Hitting the library overrules hitting the gym, and freshmen spend more time on their gadgets than at the gym.
Now thanks to free, health-tracking apps, students can combine their love of technology with exercising and staying healthy.
Here is a look at four apps that can help students avoid the Freshman 15:
“Walking is the easiest, most accessible way” to be more active, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told USA TODAY.
Available for iPhone, iPad, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Android, iMapMyFITNESS has been recognized as the premier fitness application, with mentions in TIME’s 50 Best Apps list as the only fitness app named this year, Runner’s World UK’s Best Running App of 2012, About.com Reader’s Choice Best Running App in 2012 and iTunes’ Health and Fitness category’s top five consistently, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch.
While this app is part of MapMyFITNESS network, which has separate apps for walking, running, hiking and more, you really need just one of these MapMyFITNESS apps, given that each uses GPS tracking and gives options for walking, running, etc. You can also record duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation and calories burned for workouts. Proud of your progress? Use the app to share it with your social networks.
“Calories are a valuable tool for weight management,” registered dietitian Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak told USA TODAY.
Only 9% of Americans last year could accurately estimate the number of calories they should consume and 9% tracked daily caloric intake, according to a 2011 International Food Information Council Foundation survey.
With Calorie Tracker Lite, it’s easier to keep track — and eventually get rid — of calories consumed from those late-night pizzas. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, this user-friendly app helps you set goals for how many calories you consume and daily and monthly progress. In addition to calories, the app tracks fat, carbohydrate and protein intake, offering “a comprehensive nutrition database of more than 1.3 million food and restaurant items,” according to iTunes.
Use the app to record your weight and see how much you’re losing, maintaining or gaining. Receive daily reminders to make sure you’re staying on track, unlock achievements and earn rewards.
College is expensive enough, so what could be better than your own, free personal trainer right on your phone?
As Gizmodo puts it, Fitness Buddy’s preset workouts are “for the smartphone inclined but weightlifting deficient,” because you can adjust workouts depending on the equipment you have.
Not only can you learn new exercises and beginner, intermediate and advanced workouts, but you can also log them and track your progress. If 300+ exercises are not enough, challenge yourself with 1700+ exercises and tailored workouts on its paid version for only $0.99. Even though the paid version offers many more exercises, MakeUseOf assures us that the free stuff is enough to get us started living a healthier lifestyle.
iPhone, iPod and Android users can all take advantage of this app.
High stress and too little (or too much) sleep can prevent you from losing those extra pounds, according to the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, and freshmen are especially vulnerable.
Stay emotionally, mentally and physically fit with this stress diary. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android, the app, which was featured on Dr. Phil, can be used as part of a “rage control program” or just as a way to help you regroup and re-energize.
Perfect for exam periods, Stress Tracker also offers stress-relieving tips, exercises and a six-point checklist for immediate relief in a stressful situation. But hurry – according to MakeUseOf, Stress Tracker, valued at $10.99, is free only for the first 10,000 users!
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